Why can I complain?
Unfortunately just because you had Payment protection insurance (PPI) on your account doesn't mean you are automatically entitled to compensation. However in most of the cases we have seen the protection wasn't wanted or needed and in may cases customers didn't even know they had PPI on their loans. In some cases customers were self-employed, retired not working or had pre existing injuries and illness which means they couldn't have claimed on the policy even if they wanted to!
You may not have even realised that you were been sold it at the time you took out your loan or, alternatively, you may have known that you were sold it but did not think that you had the option to refuse it. If you are not sure whether you were sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) then check your loan/credit card papers immediately because you might be in for a big surprise.
CLAIMS, a leading PPI claims company, is winning compensation for people that were mis-sold this expensive product which was often more beneficial to the banks than it was their customers. PPI was usually sold as part of loans and credit card agreements. It was meant to protect the borrower against the risk of being unable to make repayments in the event of unexpected circumstances such as an accident, sickness or unemployment. However it frequently failed to do so. Less than 5% of people who tried to claim on their PPI policies were actually successful when approaching their bank!
In addition to this, PPI can also be staggeringly expensive. Banks have made huge profits out of PPI. They have been known to use high pressure and non-compliant selling techniques to get consumers to sign up for it with them, often using the fact that people desperately wanted to borrow money (so an unequal bargaining position existed) to enable them to sell it.
Industry malpractice in this area has been confirmed by the financial services regulator the FSA who, thankfully, has now banned selling of single premium PPI and fined some of the worst offenders. Indeed, the PPI issue was also the subject of a widespread investigation by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in 2005. Shockingly, the Citizens Advice Bureau reported that PPI premiums could unbeknown to them add between 13% and 56% to the price of a person's loan.
Even more shockingly, lenders often added this insurance to the cost of the loan as a lump sum at the outset meaning that unsuspecting consumers were not only being mis-sold something that they didn't want or was unsuitable for them but, additionally, they were paying high interest charges for the privilege.
Unfortunately just because an investment you held has gone down doesn't mean you can complain and get compensation. If you chose to take the risk and knew and understood this you have to accept that investments can go down as well as up.
However many people sold into the Aviva Morley funds whether Balanced or Cautious didn't want to take any gambles with their money and Barclays knew (or should have known this). The risks and details of the investments were not explained properly and these investments were not even classified correctly and were only suitable for people who were Adventurous investors.
At other times our in depth research shows other problems with products such as guarantees that were not properly explained or that the actions of banks were not in their customers’ best interests for example by keeping funds open and client’s invested when they should not have been.
How much will I get back?
The aim of compensation is to put you in the position you would have been if the incorrect advice had not been given.
This means for a PPI policy that should not have been sold you will receive a refund of the payments you have made towards the PPI and interest charged on this.
You will then receive interest for being deprived of the money over the period because you would have been able to spend or invest money elsewhere.
For investment cases it will be necessary to look at what the correct advice would have been. This will normally involve looking at how a benchmark has performed compared to the product you were invested in. Compensation will then be calculated on this basis. If you have surrendered the investment interest will be paid on any loss compared to the benchmark up to the date they pay you compensation.
How long will the claim take?
This depends on the particular case. We aim to win our cases within 6-9 months although we can occasionally win PPI claims in just a few weeks and complaints against some firms take far longer than others.
If a case needs to be sent to the Financial Ombudsman Service this is likely to lengthen your case by at least 18 to 24 months and if the case needs an Ombudsman to issue a final decision this is likely to be even longer.
What do I need to get started?
All you need to do is either start a chat with us through this website, or give us a call on FREEPHONE 0800 0232 973.
What if I don't know all the details?
Don’t worry. Just send us the information you know and we should be able to get the information we need directly from the bank, insurer or finance company. We aim to do all the work for you and answer any questions the bank may ask.
What will you do for me?
Once we have received your completed forms we will request any necessary information we need to assess your case and then make a complaint directly to the firm. If necessary we will also arrange for the complaint to go to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) depending on the details of your case.
What does your service cost?
We charge no upfront fees and nothing at all unless we are successful, provided you leave the case in our hands throughout. Once we have won you your money and you've banked it we will send you our bill.
For a standard PPI claim case we charge 25% of the compensation we win for you plus VAT. This means if you get £2000 compensation our bill would be £500 plus VAT at 20% which equals £100. The total you would have to pay is £600. You would recieve £1,400 from the claim. Each case is subject to a minimum fee of £250 plus VAT (capped at a maximum of 50% of the compensation amount for very small cases). Please see the client agreement for full details.
Please remember that if you were in arrears, bankrupt or in debt management then you would not receive the full amount but would still be required to pay our bill in full from your own resources - this is why we will not take on cases where clients are in arrears and would advise you to run your own complaint.
For investment cases our charges will vary depending upon the details of your case. Just give us a call and we will be able to discuss this in more detail with no obligation.
If you were to win compensation of £1,000 the bill would vary as follows depending on the type of agreement you have.
a 25% agreement would mean you pay £250 plus VAT at 20% of £50. Total to pay £300 and you get £700
a 30% agreement would mean you pay £300 plus VAT at 20% of £60. Total to pay £360 and you get £640
a 35% agreement would mean you pay £350 plus VAT at 20% of £70. Total to pay £420 and you get £580
a 40% agreement would mean you pay £400 plus VAT at 20% of £80. Total to pay £480 and you get £520
How long have you been in business?
We have been in business since the 90’s. It is believed to be the first business set up in the UK to help people who had lost money from bad financial advice. Since then we have helped thousands of people in a wide range of claims against Banks, Building Societies and Insurance Providers.
Can I complain without professional help from a firm like CLAIMS?
Yes. Of course you can. It is important that you are aware of this so that you know all of your options at this stage. If you want to have a go then do so and please use the information on this website and others to help you. If you are the sort of person who, for example, does their own tax returns without the need to pay an accountant, then running a complaint yourself will probably be your preferred route.
If you take your case to FOS it will cost you nothing at all as there is no referral fee but it will of course be up to you to state your case and to provide any available documents to support your complaint. Remember that the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) does not represent consumers still less does it think of ways to legitimately increase the value of your claim. That must be your job. FOS is a mediation service which takes a midway stance between the complainant and the firm.
Loss calculations are a somewhat technical area and you would probably be helped by looking at some of FOS’ own publications on the matter such as their online PPI resource and Guidance Note QG5. You should be aware that FOS’ compensation formulas do not always mirror those of the courts. And remember one very important thing. You cannot win a complaint solely because you held a PPI policy or your investment has performed badly. You must provide reasons why you believe the policy was mis-sold or explain in what way it was not suitable for you.
For other types of cases, for example, you may wish to make a claim for consequential loss you must explain to FOS in some detail what your existing liabilities were and why you did not use part or all of the investment funds to reduce them. These may not have been recorded in the point of sale paperwork and without you drawing the matter to FOS’ attention and giving a full account of what happened the extra amount of compensation you may be owed would not be awarded. So remember, it is important that you do a thorough job and tell FOS everything helping them to make the right decision.
If you are uncertain on how to present your case to the Ombudsman Service you can always ring us up for some free advice and we will point you in the right direction.
If I instruct you to act for me can I cancel my agreement?
Of course you can. At any time. We offer a 14 day cooling-off period so that there will be no charge whatsoever if you change your mind in the first 14 days after asking us to help. Our full contractual agreement is available on this site setting out our terms of business. This explains that there will be a charge after the cooling-off period for cancelling the agreement as we cannot afford to work for people, making phonecalls, writing letters, sending faxes and emails, carrying out complex calculations of loss etc. and then be told by clients "you're fired" - sometimes just before our clients know they are going to receive compensation.